Is Asbestos Siding Really Dangerous?


Asbestos dangerIt can be, yes. It can also be perfectly safe.


Inhaling airborne asbestos fibers can cause cancer, and it doesn’t take years of exposure (such as working in mines or factories processing asbestos) to develop problems from asbestos. Inhaling airborne asbestos fibers is a significant, major health risk, so yes, asbestos can ve a very dangerous material, which is why it’s no longer used in building materials.

Asbestos siding itself, though, is rarely dangerous. If it’s intact and installed on exterior walls, it’s perfectly safe, and will remain so for decades and decades. It is only dangerous if the siding is broken into many small pieces, sawed, drilled, etc. Asbestos shingles are perfectly safe to handle, touch, and be in the presence of as long as they are intact and unbroken.


Comments

  1. Kerry says

    I have asbestos siding and I am getting the house painted in May, at the back of the house at the base the wood or siding needs some repair, the area is not rotted but not even and looks
    worn, the guy who will be doing the painting said they will first powerwash the house, is this safe? Any comments or advise appreciated.

    • Editorial Staff says

      You can power-wash it as long as you don’t blast it hard enough to knock off pieces of siding or break any edges. If you’re gentle, power-washing asbestos siding is perfectly safe.

  2. karen cayea says

    OUR HOUSE HAS ASBESTOS SIDING AND WAS BUILT IN 1973. THE SIDING IS IN GOOD SHAPE EXCEPT TWO SMALL PIECES THAT CAME OFF WHEN PUTTING AN AIR CONDITIONER IN THW ALL ON THE SECOND FLOOR. IS MY SON WHO SLEEPSIN THAT ROOM IN DANGER OF BREATHING IN ASBESTOS PARTICLES

    • Editorial Staff says

      There’s no good amount of asbestos to have in your home but asbestos siding is one of the least riskiest forms. There’s zero danger in the situation you describe, as asbestos fibers are only released from siding when it’s actively being broken, drilled, or sawed into very small pieces.

      Breaking a few pieces when installing the air conditioner wouldn’t have released enough fibers to be dangerous, and any that were released would be quickly dispersed. It only releases fibers when broken, and is otherwise inert when just sitting there after the fact.

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